Faster and bigger trains on London service
By Lichfield Mercury | Saturday, March 31, 2012, 09:04
PASSENGERS heading for the capital on Sundays can soon enjoy a "vastly improved service" from Tamworth, rail bosses have said.
As well as the boost to London Midland services on Sundays, passengers have been promised more seats on Virgin trains from April.
This week, London Midland announced it will more than double the current number of Sunday trains from April 1.
Currently, five London Midland services run to London from Tamworth on Sundays, and four make the return journey.
From this Sunday, 11 services will travel south and 10 will come back.
"The additional services will give our customers much greater choice when travelling to the capital over weekends," said Richard Brooks, London Midland's commercial director.
"It is a big improvement for those wishing to travel to and from the capital on a Sunday."
The services, which will run between Crewe and London Euston, are being introduced to meet customer demand on the West Coast Main Line.
Each train has 230 seats, so the six extra locomotives in each direction represent an additional 1,380 seats each way each Sunday.
Journey time to London will be around two hours and 10 minutes.
As the busiest mixed-traffic railway route in Britain, the West Coast Main Line is widely considered to be the country's most important rail artery.
Since the "four-tracking" upgrade several years ago, much of the line is now capable of carrying trains at speeds of up to 125mph.
Virgin Trains' contract to run fast services on the West Coast Main Line – which would have expired on March 31 – continues.
Government officials signed an extension last autumn, which grants the operator the contract until December 9.
In the meantime, rail users will benefit from 28,000 extra seats from next month, with the introduction of new faster trains and extra carriages.
As well as the continued use of a new Virgin Pendolino, which entered service last July, April will see the introducation of three new 600-seat Pendolino trains.
In addition, 31 existing Pendolinos will be lengthened from nine to 11 carriages, increasing the number of standard class seats on each train by almost 50 per cent.
The 106 new Virgin carriages equate to an extra 28,000 seats each day – an increase of 25 per cent.